Strange Industrial Era Inventions

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Weird Inventions from the Industrial Revolution


“Daring Ideas are like chessman moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game”
 – Johaan Wolfgang

People have been building “daring ideas” since the dawn of the industrial area when inventors, manufacturers and eager consumers created an exciting market for new products. From helping people better their opera singing skills to building all terrain bicycles there has been few industries inventors have not touched. While not all of these ideas gained the commercially success the inventor hoped for they did offer a unique solution to a problem. Here a few of our favorites!

1) Amphibious Bicycle

"A land sea bike for the modern man"

2) Bike Tire Swimsuit

Swimming accessories to swim faster in water

3) Apartment Window Baby PlayPen

A strange solution to lack of home space

4) Man-Powered Passenger Cart

Inspired by horse-powered carriages, this Japanese invention predated cars

5) Multitasking Rotating Desk

Made to Thomas Jefferson's specifications for absorbing as much information possible at top speed

6) Paper Hot Air Balloon

Built with paper by two French inventors, the first successful human air travel was an extremely odd feat at the time

7) Barrel Submarine

The first-ever military submarine was a giant wooden barrel fit for one

8) Gas-Powered "Unicycle"

This one-wheeled motorcycle had a speed of 150 kilometers per hour

9) Dimple Maker

The beauty industry had no shortage of bizarre devices, such as this cheek attachment

10) Steam Engine

steam engine model
While James Watt is credited as the inventor of the steam engine, steam-powered machines have been in the works for millenniums before the Industrial Revolution

11) Sewing Machine

old wooden sewing machine with a hand crank and vintage parts
The first sewing machine design was invented by Thomas Saint, was powered with a hand crank for making leather clothing

12) Railroads

vintage black and white rail
Railroads began from roads of rails called "wagonways", which evolved into railways for steam engine vehicles

13) Hansen Writing Ball

The Hansen Writing Ball from 1870, was the first commercially-manufactured typewriter

14) Edison Standard Phonograph

vintage 1908 phonograph with wax cylinders
The Edison Standard Phonograph came in different models and used wax cylinders
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